April 27, 2013

Order of the Assassins: Between bombing and shootout, Dzhokhar was calm, stoned

From the NYT:
After Attack, Suspects Returned to Routines, Raising No Suspicions 
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and IAN LOVETT
BOSTON — Just five hours after the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon last week, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was back at his computer, doing what he did almost every day, posting a message on Twitter. 
“Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people,” he wrote. 
... For the most part, [the Tsarnaev Brothers] appeared calm, according to people who saw them, raising no suspicions that anything was amiss, let alone that they might have had anything to do with the attack. 
... By 1:14 p.m. Dzhokhar was back on Twitter. In an exchange with another fellow student, he dispensed some medical advice: you need to get Claritin clear. 
The other student has since deleted his account so the reply is no longer visible. Within three minutes, Dzhokhar added: #heavy I’ve been looking for those, there is a shortage on the black market if you wanna make a quick buck, nuff said. 
... “He was running some cardio on treadmill,” said Mr. Kedski, who said he often saw Dzhokhar smoking cigarettes and marijuana outside his dormitory. “He just seemed like a normal kid,” Mr. Kedski added. “He blended in very well.” ...
“I stopped by his room a couple times,” Mr. Juozaitis said. “He was just playing FIFA on Xbox. It wasn’t, like, weird. He was just doing what I do.” 
He seemed to have resumed his habits of staying up late and sleeping in late, and of smoking marijuana, which he did frequently, they said. 
Though he may have been quiet, Dzhokhar was hardly a loner — he was quite sociable. 
Sonja Bergeron, 19, said she would often see him at parties at dorms where he would be drinking and smoking marijuana. (She advised reporters to “look for the potheads” to find people who would have known him better.) 
“He was a kind of a party animal,” she said. 

I don't want to get all Umberto Eco-y on you, but I'm vaguely reminded of the legendary hashish-smoking Muslim "Assassins" that Marco Polo wrote about. They were one of the coolest things in my Classics Illustrated Adventures of Marco Polo comic book that I read when I was about nine.

Actually, Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pedulum, The Name of the Rose) is great. So, let's see where this absurd medieval hashhead thread goes.

Granted, the Tsarnaevs weren't bookish sorts, but the etymological link between "hashish" and "assassin" has got to be close to a universal in Pothead Lore. So, the Tsarnaev brothers would certainly have heard about "hashish" = "assassin" from some bong buddy, and they would have thought it was cool.

Moreover, it turns out that the Order of the Assassins was founded by the "Old Man of the Mountain" in Alamut Castle in northwestern Iran just down the coast of the Caspian Sea from Dagestan. So, the Tsarnaevs might have taken some hometown pride in the legend, because from the perspective of Cambridge, Chechnya, Dagestan, and Alamut are all practically the same place.

If you look up "Assassins" in Wikipedia, you get its usual multiple-personality syndrome. First, Wikipedia scolds you that this is all just an Orientalist myth:
"The literal interpretation of this term in referring to the Nizaris (as hashish consuming intoxicated assassins) is rooted in the fantasies of medieval Westerners and their imaginative ignorance of Islam and the Ismailis."

But, also, Wikipedia wants you to know, this stuff is pretty awesome:
Origins 
The origins of the Assassins trace back to just before the First Crusade around 1080. There has been much difficulty finding out much information about the origins of the Assassins because most early sources are either written by enemies of the order or based on legends. Most sources dealing with the order's inner working were destroyed with the capture of Alamut, the Assassins' headquarters, by the Mongols in 1256. However, it is possible to trace the beginnings of the cult back to its first Grandmaster, Hassan-i Sabbah. 
A passionate devotee of Isma'ili beliefs, Hassan-i Sabbah was well-liked throughout Cairo, Syria and most of the Middle East by other Isma'ili, which led to a number of people becoming his followers. Using his fame and popularity, Sabbah founded the Order of the Assassins. ... Because of the unrest in the Holy Land caused by the Crusades, Hassan-i Sabbah found himself not only fighting for power with other Muslims, but also with the invading Christian forces.[6]

... He had established a secret society of deadly assassins, which was built in a hierarchical format. Below Sabbah, the Grand Headmaster of the Order, were those known as "Greater Propagandists", followed by the normal "Propagandists", the Rafiqs ("Companions"), and the Lasiqs ("Adherents"). It was the Lasiqs who were trained to become some of the most feared assassins, or as they were called, "Fida'i" (self-sacrificing agent), in the known world.[7] 
It is, however, unknown how Hassan-i-Sabbah was able to get his "Fida'i" to perform with such fervent loyalty. One theory, possibly the best known but also the most criticized, comes from the observations from Marco Polo during his travels to the Orient. He describes how the "Old Man of the Mountain" (Sabbah) would drug his young followers with hashish, lead them to a "paradise", and then claim that only he had the means to allow for their return. 
Perceiving that Sabbah was either a prophet or some kind of magic man, his disciples, believing that only he could return them to "paradise", were fully committed to his cause and willing to carry out his every request.[8] ... 
With his new weapons, Sabbah began to order assassinations, ranging from politicians to great generals. Assassins rarely would attack ordinary citizens though and tended not to be hostile towards them.

Well, that doesn't fit. But, you gotta admit that the rest of the stuff might have appealed to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.
All Hashashins were trained in both the art of combat as in the study of religion, believing that they were on a jihad and were religious warriors.

Cool.
Some consider them the Templars of Islam ...

like the Knights Templar in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, the meathead's Umberto Eco.
Although the "Fida'i" were the lowest rank in Sabbah's order and only used as expendable pawns to do the Grandmaster's bidding, much time and many resources were put into training them. The Assassins were generally young in age giving them the physical strength and stamina which would be required to carry out these murders. However, physical prowess was not the only trait that was required to be a "Fida'i". To get to their targets, the Assassins had to be patient, cold, and calculating. They were generally intelligent and well read because they were required to possess not only knowledge about their enemy, but his or her culture and their native language. They were trained by their masters to disguise themselves, sneak into enemy territory and perform the assassinations instead of simply attacking their target outright. [7] ...

Interesting ...
Etymology
The Assassins were finally linked by the 19th century orientalist scholar Silvestre de Sacy to the Arabic hashish using their variant names assassin and assissini in the 19th century. ... This label was quickly adopted by anti-Ismaili historians and applied to the Ismailis of Syria and Persia. The spread of the term was further facilitated through military encounters between the Nizaris and the Crusaders, whose chroniclers adopted the term and disseminated it across Europe. ...
Military Tactics: 
For about two centuries, the hashashin specialized in assassinating their religious and political enemies.[Wasserman 2] These killings were often conducted in full view of the public and often in broad daylight, so as to instill terror in their foes.

= terrorism
Assassinations were primarily carried out with a dagger, which was sometimes tipped with poison. Due to being immensely outnumbered in enemy territory, the hashashin tended to specialize in covert operations. Hashashins would often assimilate themselves in the towns and regions of their targets and, over time, stealthily insert themselves into strategic positions.

See, they are assimilating!
... In the heat of battle however, under no circumstances did they commit suicide unless completely necessary, preferring to be killed by their captors. ...

In other words, like the Tsarnaevs, they were not suicide terrorists, but instead went down fighting.
The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche gives prominent focus to what he terms "the Brotherhood of Assassins", in part 3, section 24 of On the Genealogy of Morality. Nietzsche's signature work is to attempt the transvaluation of values, that is, to transcend the inherited Jewish and Christian politics, psychology and ethics of ressentiment and guilt. Nietzsche points to the Assassins as anti-ascetic 'free spirits' who no longer believe in metaphysical truth.[17] 

I don't exactly know what that means, but as the 2011 movie The Guard pointed out, Nietzsche is the favorite philosopher of meatheads: Whatever doesn't kill me only makes me stronger.
Games like the the Assassin's Creed series employ assassin folklore to both their story and gameplay.

You can get Assassin's Creed on your X-Box. And you know who played a lot of X-Box? Dzhokhar!

This is not to say that Tamerlan and Django were inspired by Assassin pothead / meathead lore. But they might have been...

I sometimes worry that I might start a groundless rumor; but in my experience, the odds that I've figured out some wacky reality are significantly higher than that many people will believe me when I try to tell them.

Since my thinking tends to be parallel to reality but orthogonal to how most people like to think, I'm dependent on a limited group of readers to whom I have to appeal periodically for financial support. Thus, I've started my first panhandling drive of 2013.

First: you can make a non-tax deductible contribution to me by credit card via WePay by clicking here.

Second: you can make a tax deductible contribution to me via VDARE by clicking here.

Third: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

Steve Sailer
P.O Box 4142
Valley Village, CA 91607-4142

Thanks.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's amazing that a boring and browned out(graphics) game like assasin's creed has sold so well and keeps churning out sequels and prequels. good for ubisoft i guess.

whiskey bait and perhaps the brothers Tsarnaev missed a beat, or did they?

The Home Counties girl training female suicide bombers for Al Qaeda - while trading bitchy insults with a terrorist rival on Twitter

Samantha Lewthwaite has become ‘trainer’ of an Al Qaeda bomber squad
Known as The White Widow, she operates a terror cell in East Africa
She was married to one of the 7/7 bombers who attacked London in 2005
Lewthwaite comes from a military family in Buckinghamshire


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315591/The-Home-Counties-girl-training-female-suicide-bombers-Al-Qaeda--trading-bitchy-insults-terrorist-rival-Twitter.html#ixzz2RfFqaS6f
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Anonymous said...

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Semiotics-and-murder-6303

Alden said...

One easy thing about the Assassin's Creed games is that you can reliably tell who the bad guys are by opting for the whiter, more Christian side. The games take place across large stretches of history: in the Crusades era one, it's the Crusaders who are largely evil, of course. In the games set in the Renaissance era, the Catholic church is the mother of all evil (if I recall you actually end up brawling with the Pope at the end of one of them). In the Constantinople one, it's the Byzantines as villains while the Ottomans tend to be good people. (I can't speak for the latest game set in the American Revolution but I'm going to bet the Natives get some pretty good PR and Old Blighty does not.)

The games are made in Montreal so this shouldn't surprise any of us. Our little Dzhokhar certainly had some entertaining, well-made media to enforce his anti-Western views at his disposal.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9oBiD7-kAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-PlpnrlNek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2OCm7vRSRg

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFhYPIF_les

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIaQ8kSQi2M

Tamold and Dzhokar go to white castle and guantanamo bay

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jB7RBGVGk

Bong bomber

Grass blaster

Anonymous said...

To extend this a little further - and quite probably take it too far into Elroy James terriotory - modern science-enhanced forms of weed can supposedly fry the brain and cause or bring out various forms of mental illness.

The house where the three dudes had their throats cut - how similar were the victims to the post-grad weed growers in the Guy Ritchie film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?"

Anonymous said...

Munchie Games

If America is as HUNGER GAMES says it is, couldn't one make a case for the bombers as resisters?

Anonymous said...

Dzhokhar is actually pronounced Joker, which perhaps fits the mass destruction theme better than Django. The pothead assassins fantasy probably relates more to the m.o. of the older brother who actually may have slit the throats of three people before decorating their bodies with marijuana (sp) leaves.

carol said...

Seriously, you don't understand what Nietzsche meant? When the culture has been trying to "transcend" Judeo-Christian guilt for far longer than you and I have been alive? The nihilism is all around us, in the air we breathe.

He called it well over 100 years ago. Got to hand him that.

Beefy Levinson said...

"I sometimes worry that I might start a groundless rumor; but in my experience, the odds that I've figured out some wacky reality are significantly higher than that many people will believe me when I try to tell them."

I guess we'll find out when Ross Douthat and David Brooks post new columns, eh?

Anonymous said...

"who said he often saw Dzhokhar smoking cigarettes and marijuana outside his dormitory. “He just seemed like a normal kid,” Mr. Kedski added. “He blended in very well.”

Smoking joints outside the dorm is now normal behavior?

That's not how I was raised, but I guess having children out of wedlock is now normal behavior.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of US immigration policy is to make Israel's problem America's problem by filling the country with hostile muslims.

Anonymous said...

"In other words, like the Tsarnaevs, they were not suicide terrorists, but instead went down fighting." - Even worse, they were sending the signal to the various rulers: "do your worst. it won't matter."

Didn't the later sultans basically surround themselves with christian slaves over this?

Aaron Gross said...

OK, but has anyone explored the possible Hawkwind connection yet? Who knows where that investigation might lead?

Since my thinking tends to be parallel to reality...

Careful with those figures of speech! In Euclidean geometry parallel implies disjoint, no intersection.

Anonymous said...

"Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official"

http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/04/26/boston-bombers-uncle-married-daughter-of-top-cia-official/

"The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller"

"Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting."

" A story about a Chechen oik exec/uncle pairing up with a top CIA official who once served as CIA Station Chief in Kabul sounds like a pitch for a bad movie.

But the two men may have been in business together.

In 1995, Tsarnaev incorporated the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Maryland, using as the address listed on incorporation documents 11114 Whisperwood Ln, in Rockville Maryland, the home address of his then-father-in-law.

It is just eight miles up the Washington National Pike from the Montgomery Village home where “Uncle Ruslan” met—and apparently wowed, the press after the attack in Boston.

The Washington Post yesterday called him a "media maven," while nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist Ester Cepeda , in a piece with the headline “The Wise Words of Uncle Ruslan” opined that he was her choice for "an award for bravery in the face of adversity.”"

"Uncle Ruslan’s spy connections go far deeper than was already known, which was that he spent two years working in Kazakhstan for USAID."

Anonymous said...

The Assasins always held a special fascination for a certain subset of countercultural nerds.
When I was a child I read and enjoyed Robert Shea's " The Saracen," a novel series about a European Hashishiyya initiate sent to Italy to thwart a mongol/crusader alliance. It was a interesting depiction of the Hashishiyya, even if the book's depiction of the period was lazy PC boilerplate. Shea was a collaborator of Robert Anton Wilson, so I can only imagine what drug fueled conspiracy theories the two would have seen driving current events if they were alive today.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

"This Old Man of the Mountain, or sheikh el-jabl in Arabic, was a 12th-century Muslim warlord whose real name was Rashid ad-Din Sinan. Having carved out an independent redoubt in the mountains of northern Syria, Rashid, a pioneer in the use of carrier pigeons to transmit orders and receive reports, sent his allegedly doped murderers far and wide to kill his enemies not only among the Christian Crusaders, but among his fellow Muslims as well. One of his victims was the anti-Crusader campaigner Nur-ad-Din, the father of the famous Saladin. The loyalty to Rashid of his followers was legendary. The story was told that, when he was visited in his mountain hideaway in 1194 by Henry of Champagne, the Crusader king of Jerusalem, he sought to impress his guest by ordering two of his men to jump to their deaths from the tower of his castle. They obeyed him instantly."

http://forward.com/articles/8785/hash-heads/

dearieme said...

O/T Mr Sailer, but it must be said that your favourite, the Daily Mail, is resorting to headlines that are dripping in sarcasm.

"Nato plane crashes in Afghanistan killing four peacekeepers"

Anonymous said...

After reading anon's link @ 5:08, it almost makes me pine for the days of Chattel law. In the past, fathers, brothers, cousins, and other male custodians would have prevented women like Lewthwaite and Russell from making such disastrous matches. We needn't end the practice of love marriages, but the restoration of a father's veto power would be a welcome corrective to the lustful stupidity of youth.

-The Judean People's Front

Kaz said...

@Alden

Jeez, you need to lighten up. The first few games generally had a large anti-organized religion tilt (rightfully so), and that's it. You play as an Arab for the first game, Italian for the next 3 games, and half white/indian for this last game. You side with the revolutionary Americans in this last game by the way. Lots of hamfisted depictions of racism scattered in there, but what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

Protestants love to condemn Catholics for the Crusades. They need to rethink their attitude of moral superiority. At least Catholics were brave enough to confront Muslims in the Crusades. American protestants are taking the cowardly way out by using drones when faced with the Muslim threat.

Jeff Starr said...

Love it.

Dennis Dale said...

The "grandmaster"? So, you're telling me there was a Grandmaster Hash? Made my day!

Steve Sailer said...

"Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official"

Thanks for the Mad Cow links. I'll post.

Anonymous said...

Protestants love to condemn Catholics for the Crusades. They need to rethink their attitude of moral superiority. At least Catholics were brave enough to confront Muslims in the Crusades.
Huh? At the time there were no prods. And up until the 1960s no one 'condemmed' the crusades. The crusades were an attempt to take BACK not TAKE the holy land...

as a side note, i remember talking to a scot irish guy who said that moorish spain was the scots irish golden age.... I pointed out to him it wasn't so golden for the Iberians.. the thought never occurred to him and he didnt' seem to care- i have heard plenty of scots irish defend the moorish occupation of spain.. and it seems they are very psychologically comfortable in that space...

Anonymous said...

"Dzhokhar is actually pronounced Joker, which perhaps fits the mass destruction theme better than Django."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPOKJikcYMk

Dennis Dale said...

The pothead assassins fantasy probably relates more to the m.o. of the older brother who actually may have slit the throats of three people before decorating their bodies with marijuana leaves
The Thugees of India were a cult that would insinuate themselves into caravans, gaining the trust of their fellow travelers before surprising them in the middle of the night and killing them in ritualistic fashion (LA Times via Wikipedia):

The Thugs would join travellers and gain their confidence. This would allow them to then surprise and strangle their victims by tossing a handkerchief or noose around their necks. The killings were performed in honour of the Hindu goddess Kali and were very ritualistic.

Dennis Dale said...

There's a similar historical revisionism attached to the thugees, who were eradicated by British colonial rule--or, according the the anti-orientalists, were a fiction created by the British in the first place. Looks like the latter assertion is weak.

Kaz said...

@ Anonymous 12:30PM

'American protestants are taking the cowardly way out by using drones when faced with the Muslim threat'

Then you go out to the middle east risking your life and piss away your youth killing people.

And pft.. muslim threat my ass. The only threat we have is dealing with the fallout from the CIA fucking up everything they do.

Like training and arming a bunch of religious militants..

Anonymous said...

"i have heard plenty of scots irish defend the moorish occupation of spain.. and it seems they are very psychologically comfortable in that space..."

They think that's what Europe will be like after they replace Europeans but what they don't realise is if it works and all the white people are gone the muslims won't need them any more.

a Newsreader said...

Steve, I half expected you to append some wacky passages from Foucault's Pendulum onto more Wikipedia excerpts describing the Bomber Brothers' homeland. I didn't want to spoil the joke, though.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4/27/13 3:09 PM,

There is no love lost between recent Muslim immigrants to Europe and non-elite European Jews. None of them mistake the Arab denizens of the Paris banlieues or Malmo for the educated and (relatively) tolerant Muslim elite of medieval Iberia. They aren't the winners of the third world immigration game.

wren said...

I wish I had CIA access to the bombers' internet browsing history.

(But not that strong a wish...)

There are probably people (and maybe some in Google, too) who now know exactly what connections they were making and what they were doing.

Whiskey said...

The Reconquista required well, a mono-culture. One religion. No "toleration" of say, Judaism or Moriscos (thinly disguised secret Muslims). In point of fact, the Moriscos did rebel and try to institute Sharia rule 100 years after the last Muslim ruler in Granada was conquered.

Moorish Spain was "tolerant" in the way that Jews did not face say, execution or the Inquisition. But it was so intolerant that Averroes had to flee to ... Catholic France to stay alive. He had a Fatwa on his head.

I see nothing wrong with the Crusades. Muslims conquered Christian lands (the ME was all Christian originally) and treated pilgrims horribly. So you won't see me saying bad things for the Crusades.

As for the Assassins, they were ultimately a failure. The Mongols just crushed them. Killing people via assassination works when in dynastic, limited struggles there is not much resources to be marshaled against the targets. The Ninja were similarly successful in the dynastic struggles and a failure everywhere else.

Once a society goes "big" in war, mass mobilization, lots of men under arms, easily replaceable generals, well there's always another man wanting to be the new big guy. And generally monocultural societies are hard to infiltrate. The Assassins had a hard time posing as Mongols, not the least of which they lacked the horsemanship needed for the ponies and the bow-skills to shoot riding. The Mongol chiefs had people they'd known all their lives around them.

Assassination is the sign of a weak society. [Insert your own observation about drones here.] The generally effective way of stopping fights is to win so overwhelmingly and totally that the enemy stops fighting. Modern military warfare is enormously destructive but it does once the fighting stops tend to get peace or at least a 60 year armistice. Even with North Korea. All assassinations do is prolong the fighting without any decisive movement. Fact is, anyone and everyone is replaceable.

Anonymous said...

"If America is as HUNGER GAMES says it is, couldn't one make a case for the bombers as resisters?"

I think one could make the case for strapping the surviving Bomb Boy into an electric chair and making him a resistor.

Anonymous said...

"There is no love lost between recent Muslim immigrants to Europe and non-elite European Jews...They aren't the winners of the third world immigration game."

Sure. Perhaps a better way of putting it would have been "they thought and some still think it will be like Moorish Spain."

The proportions of thought and think will vary with how close their feet are to the fire but it's the ones whose feet are furthest away who are making the decisions.

Anonymous said...

And up until the 1960s no one 'condemmed' the crusades. The crusades were an attempt to take BACK not TAKE the holy land

Growing up in Britain in the 1970s it was still the case, in my experience, that the crusaders were depicted as the good guys, our guys.

For all i know now, assuming that such history is even bothered with, that the crusades are yet another of The Worst Things That Ever Happened.